Earlier today, Governor Brown released a statement identifying 15 counties which will move into the “extreme” risk classification. This change comes after case counts continues to rise. With a change in county risk classifications, business closures will take effect on Friday, April 30th in the following counties:
In the extreme risk category, restaurants, bars, fitness centers and other businesses are required to alter operations again. You can find all regulations by risk category on this chart.
Given the surge and increased numbers across the board, the Governor has decided to remove the “warning week” for the next three weeks and the “buffer week” will also be on pause. Movement week data will now be released on the following schedule:
- Tuesday, Apr. 27 – Movement data released
- Friday, Apr. 30 – County Risk Levels change
- Tuesday, May 4 – Movement data released
- Friday, May 7 – County Risk Levels change
- Tuesday, May 11 – Movement data released
- Friday, May 14 – County Risk Levels change
Additional updates from the Governor’s office:
- Outdoor capacity limits in Extreme Risk will be increased from 50 to 100.
- The state of emergency will be extended this week for another 60 days.
- The Governor is putting together a business relief package for businesses hit by this move to Extreme Risk.
Governor Brown did state that with the vaccination effort underway, this should be the last round of restrictions which she will impose on our business communities around the state and the current round of regulations should last no longer than three weeks. County risk classifications are evaluated on a weekly basis and based on the most current public health data available. The next round of county assessments will take place on Tuesday, May 4th. You can review the most current county by county data sets here.
Salem Chamber CEO Tom Hoffert statement
“In partnership with many of Oregon’s key business associations and advocacy groups, leaders across Oregon boldly declare that we are far too deep into the COVID-19 pandemic to be again targeting any one or two specific industries with arbitrary regulations. The data simply does not provide evidence showing that restaurants, gyms & fitness clubs, and entertainment venues are responsible for the surge in COVID virus rates or necessitated hospitalization. The Oregon small business community has consistently kept both customers and employees safe throughout the pandemic. Our restaurant and fitness industries in Oregon have been asked to withstand the worst of these targeted restrictions and the numerous changes to mandates and regulations. The most recent data from Marion County on COVID-19 rates demonstrates that the restaurant and retail industries combined make up less than 1% of the spreading of cases in Marion County. Now is the time for state leadership to immediately prioritize legislation which directly helps our Oregon small businesses remain viable after this third round of limited capacity and indoor seating shutdowns. As a community built on small businesses, the best way we can help our locally owned establishments is by keeping our dollars local with Salem-owned companies. Our Salem small business community has always stood behind the various needs of our Salem residents, be it our local nonprofit organizations, churches, youth sports, our educators and their students, and countless other efforts which insure an inclusive and engaged community. Now is OUR time to stand behind these businesses facing the most daunting restrictions. If you have the means to purchase meals-to-go or delivery, we humbly encourage you to do so in the weeks ahead – our local restaurants are depending on us to insure they are open-for-business years into the future.”
Federal Assistance Programs
Restaurant Revitalization Fund
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today that registration will begin this Friday, April 30, at 6 a.m. PST for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, with applications opening on Monday, May 3, at 6 a.m. PST. The RRF will offer $28.6 billion in grants to restaurants and bars based off of lost revenue. Additionally, $5 billion of that total will be provided directly to businesses with 2019 gross receipts of less than $500,000. This fund was established through the American Rescue Plan. Learn more and register here.
Shuttered Venue Operator Grant
Live venue operators who were affected by COVID-19 have access to a $16 billion grant funding source. the SVO grant program provides over $16 billion to live venue operators including eligible movie theaters, concert venues, museums and performing arts organizations. Applicants could receive SVO funds equal to 45% of gross earned revenue. Companies who qualify must have been operating as of February 29, 2020 and have not received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020. Learn more here.
Vaccination Tax Credit
Last Week, President Biden announced a tax credit for employers who offer paid time off for workers to get their vaccines. Additionally, this tax credit would cover time off if any employee needs time to recover from the vaccines side effects. This new tax credit applies to nearly all businesses and non-profits with fewer than 500 employees and provides up to $511 per employee, per day for up to 10 workdays for time taken off between April 1 and September 30, 2021. Learn more here.
Employee Retention Tax Credit Information
Additionally, a major change to COVID-19 tax relief came in the form of allowing businesses to take advantage of both the Employee Retention Tax Credit and the Payment Protection Program. Initially, the CARES Act outlined that business could only utilize one or the other. If your business accessed PPP dollars in 2020, you are now eligible for the ERTC for each fiscal quarter in 2021. Learn more here.